The Basin Complex Fire, which started on June 21, was declared 100% contained as of 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 27,
after having burned 162,818 acres.
All voluntary evacuations and road closures have been lifted by the Monterey County Sheriff's Department. Residents
and visitors traveling through the area should continue to use caution though, as fire equipment and personnel may still be
in the area.
With the exception of Kirk Creek, Plaskett Creek and Arroyo Seco Campgrounds, which will re-open on Friday, August
1, all National Forest lands within the Monterey Ranger District of the Los Padres National Forest, including roads and trails,
will remain closed to public access until further notice.
Several picnic areas on the Big Sur coast along Highway
1 including Pfeiffer Beach, Mill Creek, Sand Dollar Beach, Jade Cove Beach, Willow Creek and San Carpoforo Beach are currently
open. Overnight camping is not permitted at these picnic sites. The use of wood campfires and charcoal barbecues is prohibited
at any of the above mentioned campgrounds, picnic sites and throughout the entire Los Padres National Forest. Only portable
stoves and lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel are currently permitted.
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park re-opened for camping on July 25. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Pfeiffer Big Sur
State Park and Andrew Molera State Park were closed during various phases of the Basin Complex Fire. Refunds for campers who
had reserved campsites in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Campground have been authorized until July 24, 2008. While there are
still significant areas of these parks that are closed because of fire damage, the majority of the visitor serving facilities
were untouched by the fire. Valley View Trail in Pfeiffer Big Sur on the east side of Highway One and the trails on the west
side of Highway 1 are open to the public as well as The Big Sur Lodge, the campground and the swimming holes within the campground.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park has re-opened the small parking area and the Waterfall Trail from the parking area
to the overlook. All other park facilities east of Highway-1 will remain closed. "Ninety percent of our visitation to this
park is due to this trail and the beauty it provides with the view of the waterfall and the Pacific Ocean," said Mat Fuzie,
District Superintendent of California State Parks Monterey District. Park facilities west of Highway-1 in Julia Pfeiffer Burns
State Park are open.
Andrew Molera State Park has served as the Fire Camp and Incident Command Post for the Basin Complex Fire and is
still serving in that capacity but to a much smaller extent.
What Happens After The Fire Is Contained:
Incident: Basin Complex Wildland Fire
What Happens After the Fire is Contained:
Fire Suppression Repair Work
Once it is determined that it is safe for firefighters to reenter the fire area, the "fire suppression repair" phase begins.
The repair phase of the Basin Complex Fire has begun on federal, state and private lands in the Big Sur area. The work is
well within the containment perimeter of the Basin Fire along Highway 1.
Repair work is done in order to minimize damage to the landscape caused as a direct result of fire suppression measures.
Areas to be treated include helispots, safety zones, and firelines constructed inside the fire perimeter. Repairs to private
property will include replacement of gates and fencing damaged during fire suppression activity.
The purpose of the repair phase is to:
minimize surface and gully erosion;
minimize sediment delivery into stream channels;
minimize visual impacts;
return terrain to its pre-suppression condition as much as possible;
prevent recreation trails and trespass issues as a result of adjacent fire line construction; and
restore areas of the wilderness impacted by mechanical and human activities to hasten the restoration of wilderness values.
Repair measures will include:
Building water bars to divert water into the surrounding vegetation.
Dragging downed vegetation back into the cleared areas
Leveling berms created by machinery in order to minimize the channeling of water.
Map as of July 27, 2008
Rocks are coming down in the area of the camp road below Bottcher's Gap in the area
of the backfiring. The camp will remain closed for summer camp and the fall events are under review. Please
stay away from camp until further notice.
The yellow line in the map below shows the burn area of the 1977 Marble Cone fire compared to the
Basin Complex fire. This map was sent to me by John Wrobel. Click map to enlarge.
July 3, 2008
View from Bottcher's Gap
July 4, 2008
Helicopters drop water on outskirts of Camp Pico Blanco.